May 3, 2007

Linux Appliance Design (Book Review)

Guest writes "Size sells. Lots of words - even when those words obscure the new and interesting material in the presentation, even when they frustrate the reader who is looking for the kernel of knowledge and truth - are what people buy, and are consequently what publishers strive to produce. As a result, this book - which would have made an excellent introduction to its stated subject if it had been trimmed to half or a third of its length - can be quite a slog for anyone unfamiliar with the subject. Please note that I do not blame the authors: in my experience, technical people rarely make good writers, and often have trouble seeing the forest for the fascinating details of the microsopic striations on the surface of a particular blade of grass. It is the editor's job to rescue the gem of meaning out of the extraneous verbiage and the hyperfocusing on details that bog down the progress and clog the machinery of understanding. In the execution of this book - and I will leave the interpetation of the precise shading of that word to the reader - the editors have failed in that job, thus leaving the content buried and accessible only to those who are willing to dig, refine, and mentally revise for themselves."



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